Birthmarked (Birthmarked, Book 1)

Birthmarked Cover

Author: Caragh M. O’Brien

Series: Birthmarked

Genre: Dystopian

Publisher: Roaring Book Press

Pages: 368


Gaia is a young midwife outside the wall, where she is required to bring the first few babies that she delivers each month to those inside the wall to “serve the Enclave”. They call this advancing” the babies. One night, after delivering one of these babies, she returns home to find one of the older midwives waiting for her to deliver the news that her parents have been taken inside the wall and imprisoned. She also gives her a ribbon that belonged to her mother that she is to destroy. When she makes her way to her home, she finds a guard member waiting to question her. Gaia tells the guard member that she knows nothing. He eventually leaves. She then sneaks inside the wall to find out what happened to her parents. She ends up imprisoned herself, after saving the baby of a woman that was hanged. And so the story goes on…

This book was not awesome. It wasn’t really bad, but it wasn’t great. The story doesn’t feel really well built, especially for a dystopian novel. We know that something happened to make the world end up this way, but we don’t know what. We know that these people inside the wall have figured out a way to have all of these resources to survive, and that they feel that the people outside of the wall are leaching off of them, but we don’t know why. Where did these people from outside of the wall come from? Did they just appear, or were they the ones that were already lower caste than the others whenever whatever this event was happened? The characters also seem to fall a little flat for me. There really isn’t enough time building them for the reader to get a sense of who they are. Things just sort of happen without a lot of explanation or build up. It wasn’t really bad writing, but maybe just poor development. It was also a bit drug out for what actually happens in the story. Then it ended kind of abruptly. I’m really not even interested enough to read the next book in the series, which is rare for me. I will say that there are many five star reviews of this novel, so others, obviously, really enjoyed it. It just wasn’t what I typically look for in a good dystopian read.

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